Computer Science News

UCL improves insights for surgeons

UCL Computer Science is exploring how Microsoft HoloLens can transform medical imaging, such as CT scans, into 3D models. Surgeons can then use these three-dimensional anatomical holograms to plan for complicated surgeries and to help patients get a clearer picture and better understanding of their own bodies.

A collaboration between University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UCL Computer Science, and NHS Code4Health, under the Platform for Enhanced Analytics and Computational Healthcare (PEACH), is developing the technology to help surgeons understand the specific anatomy and condition of a patient.

When wearing the HoloLens, surgeons will be able to see an image of the patient’s organs. The technology was borne out of an Undergraduate 2nd Year student project, as part of UCL's Industry Exchange Network.

The short term hope is this will help with pre-surgical planning. The longer term vision is to super-impose the hologram on the patient during an operation, and for the image to change in real time to reflect what the surgeons are doing.

Presented at London Tech Week in June, Navin Ramachandran, a consultant radiologist at the trust, said the work is being built in Microsoft Azure and it is in its "early stages".

Ramachandran said the reasons for focusing on kidney cancer include the complicated nature of the surgery and the complex anatomy. However, there are challenges with introducing the technology.

These include surgeons wanting the interface of the technology to be "really basic", Ramachandran told the audience in London. See more at

Posted 30 Jun 17 10:45